All week there were rainfalls and storm wind was blowing. On 9 April 2015 the weather forecast promised the only sunny day when it was decided to make an attempt in setting a new world record on the firing range.
The Lifenews film crew, called to capture the event, arrived in the extended format. The guys have been set very seriously: armed with 6 cameras and quadrocopter and all this was managed by the head director of the channel.
On arrival everything was ready. Let me remind you: as a weapon we used custom version of SVLK-14 C with the following differences from the basic one: stock, titanium firing pin, titanium chassis, custom coating and short barrel 780mm long. This barrel in combination with our new bullet D30 gave almost the same speed as base SVLK 14C with a longer barrel.
We also used a proven scope – IOR Valdada 5.8-40x with 100 MOA range. Its high power is suitable for precise aiming at long range, and vertical adjustment range is sufficient up to 2300m, but this is true only for SVLK-14. Any other rifle in the world in this caliber would require more MOAs consumption.
Improvements after the first test firing touched increasing the rail height and angle. The previous version did not provide adequate slope for shooting at 3400m. The last two hundred meters, “eat” almost 100 MOA and we lacked just about 30 minutes. Also, the height of the first rail was insufficient – sight snatched muzzle brake edge, which gave the picture a characteristic haze, although it did not block aiming.
Choosing between making a new mount and using our available adjustable up to 400 MOA, we stopped on the hard milled one, in order to exclude additional factors, such as possible moving of adjustable mount which has not been properly tested yet.
We milled the mount with some extra minutes – 260 MOA to be able, if necessary, to shoot a bit farther.
High mount resulted in a butt-stock transfer to a new height, requiring in a turn a special adapter. This simple measure made rifle control and shooting itself more comfortable.
For shooting the record we decided to try our new bullet D30. Their weight is similar to the old Lost River J40s, but they slightly differ in shape and made more precisely that obviously has positive effect on accuracy. Slightly greater bullet diameter in combination with a matched bore size allowed to get a speed of 900 m / s with a shorter barrel, without exceeding the pressure. That has brought the rifle in the “short” version to that of the base 900-millimeter long barrel on a standard SVLK-14.
Plan on shooting was as follows: check the base angle; “zero” the system; if we still have time – to shoot a record.
The event, along with the preparation took the whole day. In the afternoon we went to the scene. Installing cameras at the target, shooting approaching and panoramic views using quadrocopter – took a few hours.
To save time, we got busy with shot calculations. It was where it got interesting. According to our calculator (SNIPER PRO 4000), just for derivation we had to put 22 MOA. The wind that was often reversing direction, was 25 MOA worth. Thus, drew the obvious tactic of working the wind. Not to add up the corrections to get stunning “almost 50 minutes” of windage we selected “red” condition, for compensation of which was required to make a ridiculous 3 MOA. And shot it. “Green”one just came less often, replacing short-lived 12-o’clock head wind. Ordinate wind was read by us as 3 m / s, which was fully confirmed by gunfire.
I must note here that all the estimates were 100% (!) fully confirmed by shooting, up to half a minute. This was unexpected. In fact, due to the infrequent rifle practice, I developed a childhood disease – distrust of the calculator. And to such extent that the required 3 MOA I did not put on the knob, believing that something still not taken into account. Also I had not made an additional half a minute of vertical as was required by the smart calculator.
This led to the fact that at the beginning of shooting we were short a bit and had 10 meters to the left. It was not immediately found by target crew since the guys were in a shelter, located to the side of the target and could more or less see hits only within 10 meters radius from the target.
Also, because of the terrain, we were not able to observe misses from our position, although the weather and moderate mirage would allow it even through a 40-x scope. So we fired almost “blindly”, relying on very rough information about the misses, such as: “undershoot “,” somewhere close “and so on. Thus, we could not rely on our target crew in adjusting the fire.
Making a small correction up and right we immediately attached. The bullet went in 3 feet to the left edge of the board, falling 4 meters behind the target. The next three shots were located in front of the target, respectively 20, 10 and 1 meter. Flag stands we dug into hits places after shooting, showed that they were all within the target width, that is, work on reading the wind was performed by my spotter not just “excellent”, but rather the “obscene excellent.” Vertical in front of the target reflected the real picture of finding the right hold-off up.
We all understood that we were very close to hitting the target and the next, the fifth shot, that happened – flew into the bottom of the target at 6 o’clock. It was a hold-off, which accurately reflected the originally calculated data with a calculator that I was too lazy to put on the scope.
After mutual congratulations we went to inspect the target and it was more difficult than shooting the record. Spring bogs and wet mash farm fields have made the path to the target impassable for vehicles. The bike was one, and it was necessary to drag the camera and a rifle for self, silently hoping that the target camera at the hit moment was ok. The whole process of moving back and forth, along with shooting on the spot, took a few hours.
But only in the course of such a path to the target and back, you begin to realize what is it – the range of 3400 meters.
Vlad Lobaev exclusively for LOBAEV journal. At a reprint the reference is obligatory.